Veganism has risen in popularity, especially in recent years, and more people have become curious enough to try it out for themselves. There are currently 9.7 million vegans in America, and there’s been a 500% increase in veganism since 2014. A person usually answers various health, environmental, and ethical reasons when asked about their lifestyle decisions, but recent studies have highlighted that it can also do wonders for your skin. So, here are some of the skin-perfecting benefits of a vegan diet.
Less acne and inflammation
Veganism involves steering clear of animal products, and this includes dairy products. Growth hormones that are present in dairy have been proven to aggravate the skin and throw your hormones off balance, leading to acne and breakouts. In line with this, vegans have reported that their flare-ups reduced upon switching lifestyles, likely thanks to their avoidance of processed foods, especially milk and cheese. In conjunction with a skincare routine for acne, which rids your face of excess sebum and shrinks your pores, you might find a holistic solution for your acne issues.
More balanced oil levels
Alongside cutting off dairy, a vegan diet also often incorporates flaxseed as a substitute or as an ingredient for many of its recipes. Flaxseed contains natural oils that can help balance your skin’s oil production, effectively reducing clogged pores. Moreover, whole grains encourage healthier digestion and help get rid of the toxins in the body. It has also been scientifically proven to keep your sebum production to a minimum, which also helps keep your skin oil-free.
Vegans are also known to have bright, glowing skin. Plenty of celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Beyonce, Benedict Cumberbatch, among others, swear by their vegan or plant-based diets. Fruits such as strawberries, avocados, tomatoes, and spinach are particularly known for their brightening effect on the skin. They also improve the skin’s moisture content and skin regeneration, which combats the dullness that can come with age or wear-and-tear. Other colored vegetables such as squash, carrots, and yams increase beta-carotene consumption, fighting off free radicals and giving the skin a healthy glow.
Oxidative damage accelerates the skin aging process. But the skin’s primary antioxidant, vitamin E, works to mitigate and neutralize skin damage. Other antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A are also necessary to complete the process. Green leafy vegetables contain the highest levels of antioxidants due to their plant pigments, while berries contain the highest amounts of antioxidants among all fruits. Regularly consuming these foods in a vegan diet prevents aging and can even reverse the aging process. This is seen in reduced wrinkles, fine lines, and plumper, youthful-looking skin.
Studies have shown that healthier and more balanced diets can reduce the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer and squamous cell carcinoma. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium, specifically, are found to be quite effective for fighting the aforementioned skin conditions. Green tea extract is also said to have cancer-fighting properties, which also explains why it’s such a common skincare ingredient. On the other hand, a diet high in meat and fat can increase your risk for skin diseases, which only goes to show that a healthier diet equals healthier skin.
Remember to consult your physician and a vegan dietitian before making major changes to your diet, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. Lastly, don’t expect to see an immediate transformation upon making the switch. Give your skin and body the time it needs to adjust to a new lifestyle, and you’ll see the results soon enough.